The Guardian – Daniel Boffey and Isobel Koshiw / Putin to mark Victory Day as Russia intensifies attacks on east Ukraine
- President Vladimir Putin will lead anniversary celebrations of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany on Monday as Russian forces intensified attacks on Ukraine in one of the deadliest conflicts in Europe since the second world war.
- The parade comes one day after Russian forces bombed a village school in eastern Ukraine killing about 60 people, president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
- The governor of the Luhansk region said about 90 people were sheltering at the school in Bilohorivka on Saturday when it was bombed.
- “As a result of a Russian strike on Bilohorivka in the Luhansk region, about 60 people were killed, civilians, who simply hid at the school, sheltering from shelling,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address. There was no response from Moscow to the news.
- The Economist / Ukraine is spoiling Vladimir Putin’s May 9th parade
Financial Times – Ben Hall / Ukrainian commanders lash out at Kyiv over Mariupol resistance
- The commanders of the Ukrainian forces holding out against Russian troops in the Azovstal plant in Mariupol lashed out at the government in Kyiv for not doing enough to help them defend the city.
- “Our government failed in the defence of Mariupol, failed in the preparation of the defence of Mariupol,” said Ilya Somoilenko, a lieutenant in the Azov regiment, the military unit that has been leading the Ukrainian resistance from a last redoubt at the vast steel works on the edge of the city. The “authorities have been sabotaging the defence of Ukraine for eight years”, he said.
- Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment, accused the government of “cynicism” for celebrating the evacuation of small groups of civilians when so many people had been killed in Russia’s assault on the south-eastern port city.
- Their comments were the first public display of dissent within the Ukrainian military, which has otherwise celebrated its battlefield achievements in fending off Russia’s full-scale invasion over 10 weeks. It was also a sign of the desperation of the Ukrainian forces, which are under constant artillery bombardment and repeated attempts by Russian forces to storm their position underneath the steel plant.
- Foreign Affairs – Margarita Konaev and Polina Beliakova / Can Ukraine’s military keep winning?
Politico – Jacopo Barigazzi and Leonie Kijewski / EU’s Russian oil ban stalls as Hungary holds up sanctions
- European Union countries are struggling to agree on the details of a new package of Russia sanctions including how a ban on Vladimir Putin’s oil industry would work, diplomats told POLITICO.
- Talks between the bloc’s 27 countries broke up without a deal on Sunday, and officials in Brussels are now expected to draft a new compromise plan before calling another meeting of diplomats on Monday or Tuesday.
- Envoys have met multiple times to discuss the EU’s sixth package of sanctions against Russia without managing to sign off on the proposals, first publicly announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on May 4.
- The ongoing difficulties reflect the fact that the measures being lined up — critically a complete ban on imports of Russian crude and refined fuels — will be deeply painful for some countries to absorb. Shutting down the EU market for Russian fossil fuels is seen as a critical strategy for denying Putin the revenue that is helping finance his war in Ukraine.
- Project Syndicate – Daniel Gros / Europe’s gas conundrum
Financial Times – Jude Webber / Sinn Féin wins historic victory in Northern Ireland
- Promising “a bright future for all of us” a jubilant Sinn Féin clinched a historic victory in Northern Ireland’s elections to become the region’s biggest political force for the first time in over a century.
- With all but two seats to the Stormont assembly decided, the nationalist party, long associated with the paramilitary IRA, had 27 seats. It can no longer be caught by the Democratic Unionist Party, for years the region’s dominant force, which had amassed 24.
- The centrist Alliance Party surged to third place from fifth, more than doubling its seats to 17, in a result that underscored voter impatience with the region’s fossilised tribal divisions.
- Voters rewarded Sinn Féin’s laser focus on the cost of living crisis and promises to get the stop-start executive back to work. But the DUP has vowed to boycott formation of a new power-sharing executive until post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland are scrapped.
- The Atlantic – Tom McTague / The truth about Irish unity
Today’s longer reads: